I spent a lot of my early Christian walk hiding the areas of brokenness of which I was most ashamed. It was like I believed the worst stuff would go away if I simply didn’t acknowledge it. All it did, however, was cover up the symptoms until my issues bubbled to the surface, causing me to sink into shame. But over the years, the Lord spoke a lot of comfort to me with this Bible story about a man who was seen as unapproachable.
This is a story about a law student, a partner at a firm, and gross towel usage. Brace yourself. Here we go.
Yesterday, my wife called me at work and told me there was an animal of some kind in the chimney. “How do you know?” I asked. “There are little pieces of leaves and cotton falling down into the fireplace, and I can hear scratching noises.”
Last year, I appeared on the Australian morning show Sunrise to talk about the value of doing a “relationship checkup” with your spouse. After the interview, I felt a little uneasy.
Oftentimes when I’m with my little girls, I feel like I’m just talking at them and around them, but not to them. Whether I want to or not, I’m juggling four or five things in my own head while trying to stay engaged with them. Yes, I would like to play Hungry Hippo with them; but at the same time, I would love to have 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading time or a nap. So a lot of times, I don’t get to read; I don’t get the nap; and my kids get me halfway-engaged in a game of Hungry…
Sometimes my wife and I fall into the trap of putting each other on guilt trips. Maybe she wants me to help out around the house, so she reminds me of how much time she has spent taking care of the kids. Or maybe I want a break to do something I enjoy (like writing), so I remind her how much I’ve been doing at the office. We’re trying to get away from that.
Last week, Washington, DC, was abuzz with excitement over the blizzard that was forecasted to dump two feet of snow on the city. The snow was just beginning to fall when I looked out the window and saw something across the street that surprised me: a homeless man was sitting against a brick wall, drinking something. “Hey girls,” I said, “look out the window.”
Ten years ago, I had an email exchange with my friend Bethany Greenoe, in which she offered some marital advice to me. I wasn’t even dating anyone seriously at the time, but her words were so meaningful that I saved the message in my “Memorable Emails” folder.
In the first year of my marriage, a friend encouraged me to interview my wife about the effect I had on her each day. Truth be told, I thought it would be an easy interview. After all, we were generally happy — but then shortly into the interview, her tears started flowing.
When I was growing up in Petal, Mississippi, I felt a steady sense of being out-of-place. I didn’t play sports; my dad didn’t take me hunting; I paid the reduced price for my school lunch; and we weren’t Southern Baptists like almost everyone else in town. These were a few of the clues that helped me see that I didn’t belong.
This month, 150,000 prisoners will receive a newsletter called Inside Journal, which is a ministry of Prison Fellowship. In that newsletter is a story called “A Secret No One Knows,” and it’s about a man who spent years hiding his secret of sexual abuse. I was that man, and although it’s not easy to tell my story, I’m praying God will use it to help set prisoners free from shame.
I once knew this guy who regularly started conversations like this: “Have you got a minute? I need your prayers.” Except there was never any prayer involved – it was just a religious intro to gossip.
One morning when I was in eleventh grade, I was walking through the school parking lot with Jamie Walker when all of sudden, I saw a big, black Buick Regal come around the corner. It was headed straight for me.